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Thursday, 26 November 1914

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) .- If the distance of 3 miles, which I prefer, cannot be accepted, there is only one thing we can do, and that is to reduce the number to justify the creation of an area.

Senator Pearce - That means increasing the number of instructors, and the cost of the training scheme.

Senator DE LARGIE - We cannot obtain conveniences for the people without incurring additional cost. In such districts as have been referred to by the Minister let us consider the case of a boy who has been working hard all day, whether on a farm or following a horse in a mine. In the Newcastle district, when a boy knocks off underground he may have to walk a couple of miles before he gets to the cage, and from the surface he may have to walk 2 or 3 miles to his home, and afterwards he has to do a 5 miles march before he begins his training.

Senator Pearce - That would be a genuine case for exemption under the amendment I am proposing, because it is an extreme case.

Senator DE LARGIE - It is not an extreme case. In districts where I have lived in Australia it would be quite a common case.

Senator Pearce - The lads will not all live on the outer rim.

Senator DE LARGIE - If the Minister goes into a mining district, he will find that the mines are situated a considerable distance from the residential areas. If we reduce the distance to 3 miles, consider what that distance will mean in some parts of Australia, such as, for instance, Gippsland. Boys have to cross a mountain. The distance they have to go is only 3 miles; but imagine what a journey it is after a day's hard work.

Senator Pearce - We would establish a 3-mile area. This clause does not say that the distance shall be 5 miles; it is to be up to that limit.

Senator DE LARGIE - I think that the limit ought to be 3 miles. Knowing Australia as I do, I think it is the utmost distance which we should ask boys to walk after having done their work.

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